How Many Lawyers does it take to stop a union campaign?
Six. One to intimidate the workers, one to intimidate the supervisors
... and four to count the fees
WHEN EMPLOYEES DECIDE TO UNIONIZE
Most employers react by conducting a strong anti-union campaign to discourage a "yes" vote for union representation.
One of the most predictable things they do is hire outside consultants. These are usually high-priced lawyers too lazy to practice law the hard way and they are specialists in devising ways to intimidate workers.
The consultants are like ambulance-chasers - they look for union campaigns and come in and convince employers they can defeat the employees and manipulate the laws that were passed to protect you.
The way to combat all this high-priced "talent" is to know what is coming and to make sure all your co-workers know what to expect
The consultants are paid high fees (often $1000 a day) and it comes from money that should be yours. But they aren't really all that smart because they use the same old techniques over and over.
- Consultants train supervisors to carry the anti-union message, so expect a lot of "friendly chats" with your supervisor.
- They write leaflets and send "love letters" signed by management to your home.
- They plan private meetings with groups of employees, where a company spokesperson can speak against the union and beg for another chance.
- They foster "anti-union committees" to "divide and conquer" the employees.
THE LIES YOU'LL HEAR
The lies the consultants will use are often as predictable as their techniques:
You'll hear that the union is bound to strike and that you will be forced to go out.
You'll hear that you will be required to pay enormous amounts of dues and that corrupt union bosses will steal your dues money.
You'll hear that the union will be run by a bunch of outsiders who just want to come in and take over the workplace.
You'll hear that the union can't guarantee you anything and that you may even lose wages and benefits.
None of the above statements are true, but they can be pretty frightening if you and your co-workers do not have the right answers ready.
For all their money and their lies, the consultants and lawyers can be beaten - labor unions all over the country have been successful at countering their efforts and winning thousands of union election campaigns.
The key to winning is to be prepared - and that means letting every worker know what is going on behind the scenes and who is directing the anti-union campaign.